SPRINGFIELD, ILL.–(ENEWSPF)–June 13, 2011. Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director and a prostate cancer survivor, is urging men throughout the state to recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and medical check-ups. In an effort to raise awareness about issues affecting men’s health, including heart disease, diabetes, prostate, testicular and colon cancer, Men’s Health Week is celebrated each year during the week leading up to and including Father’s Day. The goal is to raise awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys.
“Men’s Health Week is a great reminder to all men that they need to take their health seriously. Men today face many health and wellness issues, and it’s important they take the time to visit their doctors for a checkup,” said Dr. Arnold. “The outcome of prostate cancer, as well as many other health conditions, depends on early detection and treatment. That’s why it is important for men and their families to be aware of available screening options and other necessary information.”
Dr. Arnold reminds men that along with regular screenings and checkups, men should eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, reduce stress, keep alcohol consumption to moderate levels and reduce or stop using tobacco.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics:
- On average, men in the U.S. live an average of five years less than women.
- The death rate from heart disease in men is approximately 1.4 times higher than for women.
- Men are more likely to have undiagnosed diabetes than women, and are more likely to die from diabetes than women.
- The cancer incidence rate is higher for men than women.
- The most recent statistics show men had higher death rates than women in 13 out of 15 leading causes of death.
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in American men, behind only lung cancer. Prostate cancer accounts for about 11 percent of cancer-related deaths in men. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer, other than skin cancers, in American men. The Illinois State Cancer Registry estimates approximately 9,850 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed in Illinois during 2011 and an estimated 1,330 Illinois men will die from it. Men should talk with their health care provider about prostate cancer screening and testing and what is appropriate for them.
Screening tests men should ask their health care provider about include:
- Obesity: Have your body mass index (BMI) calculated to screen for obesity.
- High cholesterol: Have your cholesterol checked regularly starting at age 35.
- High blood pressure: Have your blood pressure checked at least every two years.
- Colorectal Cancer: Have a test for colorectal cancer starting at age 50.
- Diabetes: Have a test for diabetes if you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol.
Dr. Arnold recommends all men actively take part in their health, starting with talking to a health care provider. Steps men can take toward being healthy and living longer include:
- Be physically active. Try walking, swimming or bicycling.
- Eat a healthy diet. Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats.
- Stay at a healthy weight. Balance food calories with calories you burn from activity.
- Don’t smoke. Call the Illinois Tobacco Quitline: 1-866-QUIT-YES.
- Develop a relationship with your doctor.
- Know your family history. Be aware of family disease history and conditions.